Independent Media Council Calls for Boycott of 2024 Olympics Over Russian-Belarusian Participation”

The Independent Media Council calls on journalists around the world not to cover the 2024 Olympic Games if Russians and Belarusians are allowed to participate. This is said in the IMC’s statement.

“If Russian and Belarusian athletes are still allowed to compete, we call on Ukrainian and foreign media to boycott the 2024 Olympic Games completely on their resources,” the statement reads.

As IMC points out, Russia is using sports competitions as an ideological weapon in its hybrid aggression to spread propaganda narratives and whitewash the crimes of the Russian military. Belarus, as a party to the military aggression against Ukraine, is also responsible for crimes against humanity committed on Ukrainian soil.

“To allow citizens of these countries to participate in the 2024 Olympic Games will be an act of ‘appeasing the aggressor’ and of disrespect to the memory of thousands of innocent Ukrainians killed. We call on journalists around the world to stand in solidarity in helping the IOC return to the fundamental principles of the Olympic movement, which is ‘promoting a peaceful society concerned with the preservation of human dignity,” the statement reads.

“320 sports facilities have already been affected by Russia’s military aggression in Ukraine. 87 of them have been completely or partially destroyed. Every day, the Russian military kills Ukrainian civilians, including professional athletes. For example, on January 14, 2023, master of sports in acrobatics Anastasia Ihnatenko and master of sports in boxing, coach Mykhailo Korenovsky were killed as a result of an occupier’s missile attack on Dnipro. In the context of Russia’s criminal aggression, Ukrainian children are unable to attend sports clubs due to constant air raids and shelling of energy infrastructure and, as a result, lack of electricity,” explanation of how Russian aggression has directly affected Ukrainian sports.

It will be recalled that on January 25, the International Olympic Committee (IOC) published a statement saying that Russian and Belarusian athletes will be allowed to participate in the 2024 Olympic Games in Paris under neutral flags and without using national symbols.

On February 6, the Verkhovna Rada of Ukraine appealed to the IOC, national Olympic Committees, international sports federations and parliaments of the countries around the world with the demand to ban the participation of Russian and Belarusian athletes in international sports competitions, including the 2024 Olympic Games, until the end of Russia’s armed aggression against Ukraine.

The Baltic countries and Poland also officially appealed to the IOC to not allow Russians and Belarusians to participate in the Olympics. The same position was expressed in a joint statement by representatives of the Olympic Committees of Norway, Sweden, Iceland, Finland and Denmark.

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